Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 30, 2012 3:00pm-4:15pm EST

3:00 pm
3:01 pm
3:02 pm
3:03 pm
3:04 pm
3:05 pm
the presiding officer: senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change his or her vote? hearing none, on this vote the yeas are 69.
3:06 pm
the nays are 24. the 60-vote threshold having been achieved, the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate will resume legislative session. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate recess subject to call of the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate stands in recess the senate stands in recess >> lawmakers taking a break now that they've completed their legislative work having taken care of two executive nominations. they're heading off to attend party caucus meetings as leaders continue to work on an agreement to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. and c-span's cameras are trained
3:07 pm
outside those meeting rooms in case lawmakers or staff talk to the press. we're also standing by in the house meeting rooms and the rules committee is poised to consider any agreement. we'll have updates as they become available. and as a reminder, we have a special web page set up with access to video of related briefings and hearings, a twitter feed from reporters and members and our resource area which features documents and articles all available at we're going to turn now back to our regular weekend programs here on booktv, and we'll take you back to the senate if and when they gavel back in. currently on booktv, we join larry berman recalling the life and military career of bud zumwalt, the commander of naval forces in vietnam and the chief naval operations officer from 1970-'74. and we talk about his work for veterans in his retirement.
3:08 pm
>> that they provided, the pictures, the videos, and then my individual meetings with each of them as i struggled to try to put this story together, so many pieces. and it's not easy for them either, because they didn't know what kind of book i would be writing, you know? and what they might be contributing to. so it's a particular honor for me to have them here today. and also it's a particular honor to have my son here today as well who i just want to say that, you know, when your life is full of these great circles, and it's really great when, you know, your son who lives here in the washington, d.c. and works in treasury can attend one of his father's talks. and i didn't even make him buy the book, which -- [laughter] is the key. i'm particularly proud of scott, and just want to say that. and i look around the room, there are some other good friends including my oldest friend and college roommate, it's just really great just to see so many people here. so i've got 30 minutes, 30, 35
3:09 pm
minutes. because what i've learned is, and this is difficult to only speak for 35 minutes on a book because, first of all, professors are programmed to talk at 45-minute intervals. i'm not sure i can do anything in 30 minutes, but i really do try because often times the questions are really the best part. and your questions will allow me to either follow up on areas that i maybe didn't cover, or if i don't like the question, i'll just talk about whatever i want. which, you know, the presidential candidates can do it, i am entitled to do that as well. [laughter] so i want to talk to you about what this book is and what this book is not. i want to introduce you, particularly the young people here, to bud zumwalt and what i think is important about his life. because, sure, he is the father of the modern navy, but there's so much more to him and so much more to the lessons that i think i'm able to portray in my book.
3:10 pm
bud zumwalt is remembered as a trailblazer who reformed the navy, and he was a champion of the men and women who served in it. that's a given. he was the iconoclastic admiral who brought a navy drifting towards the shores back into safety. into the channels of the 20th sent -- century. and nothing would ever be the same again. as bill clinton and admiral mullen say at the back of my book on the dust jacket blurbs, the things that he did as a reformer will never be undone. and i'm not talking about whether they are bell bottoms or trousers or side burns, those things can be changed. but the way he reformed the social policies and made the navy response to the contemporary needs of society and what he did with respect to vis-a-vis the
3:11 pm
soviets during the period of the cold war and the strategic arms limitations and his role there. these are things that have left a mark in history, and an important one. and i try to deal with those in the book. what bud zumwalt did and what i was drawn to about his life is that he made the navy think about things that they ought to have been thinking about before he forced them to. and, indeed, he took on the charge and the charter of redoing the social contract of the navy. an institution that he loved. and he didn't want to destroy the navy, he didn't want to do anything except reform it and bring it into the 20th century so that young people would join the navy again, so that the navy would mirror society, so that reenlistment rates would go from the very bottom, the navy trailed all the other services, where they could be competitive. where there was no longer any draft. and the navy would be attractive for people to serve and where there were career opportunities for women to go to sea, for
3:12 pm
women to fly, to fly -- to be pilots and for latinos, african-americans and hispanics to have the option to be promoted and to reach the rank of admiral. something that when he became cno in 1970 was really just deep in the hole people wonder about. and then there was his humanity, his extraordinary humanity with respect to how he helped people. usually the powerless, usually those who had nothing. but it stretched not only to sailors -- and i must say i never met a brown water sailor and i must have interviewed 50 or 60, who didn't love their admiral. i met a lot of people who didn't love the add merrill, but it wasn't his sailors. because bud zumwalt knew from the very beginning, he understood a very simple concept about what leadership and loyalty down met. and this men fested itself throughout -- manifested itself throughout his entire life.
3:13 pm
but you can't be a reformer, you can't be a trailblazer without making a lot of enemies, and he made enemies. and i doubt any of them are here tonight. be if you are, we'd love to talk about it. he always joked about this, but it's really true. he said i have two long lists -- i have a long list of friends and a long list of enemies, and i'm equally proud of both of them. and as i tell the story tonight, i think that perhaps you'll understand this even better with. and by doing this he became a sailor's admiral, often referred to as zorro, fighting for the rights of pressed navy -- of oppressed navy men and women. the zorro and z which he wore on the back of his shirt and which sailors wore on ship often was the letter of the day. imagine a cno in 1970 making the coffer of time -- cover of time magazine which called the charismatic naval chief of operations quote: the navy's
3:14 pm
most popular leader since world war ii. now, the press quickly picked this up and dubbed it as the mod squad navy, even though there's a component of reform that bud zumwalt would initiate, they called it the mod squad navy led by its psychedelic admiral. sailors began sporting beards, longer hair, side burns, motorcycles were allowed on base, a lot of changes were occurring. the infamous z grams attempted to mold the traditions of naval service with the needs of a nation in turmoil and a culture in transition. and the navy was never the same. beer dispensers were suddenly allowed in enlisted men's barracks, acid rock blared from service clubs, and women were going to sea. traditionalists, most of them were white, retired admirals, ridiculed these reforms. they called them the three bs:
3:15 pm
beer, beards and broads. and they would come to deride zumwaltism, as they called it, zumwaltism for undoing navy discipline and leading to mutinies at sea. and when the great challenge occurred in 1972 when there were, there was unrest aboard aircraft carriers in the pacific, bud zumwalt's enemies tried to take him down. and in my chapter "rough seas" which many readers have told me they enjoyed the most in the book, his enemies had their one chance. as did richard nixon and henry kissinger. their one chance to get rid of this man. and instead of trying to protect himself, the documents, the records show without a doubt that bud zumwalt relished this opportunity to finally take on publicly his opponents. and for once and for all, put the racists in their place. it was a harrowing experience for him.
3:16 pm
he was this close to losing his job. and, indeed, if henry kissinger had played his cards right, perhaps history would have been changed. but it didn't happen. but bud relished that fight, and the documents show that. he relished it for one simple reason. throughout his whole life, something i've learned from reading the materials, and i'll talk about what materials i used in a moment and the problem i had getting some of those materials, but he believed in this really simple axiom which if in your heart you believe it's right, t worth fighting for -- it's worth fighting for, you know? and that doesn't happen too often in the our public n our public realm. and it mattered to his sailors, and i tell the story about over there in vietnam during the vietnam war in the hanoi hilton, you know, p.o.w. james stock dale had been rotting away in his prison cell for years when a new p.o.w. was brought in and had the cell right next to stockdale.
3:17 pm
and stockdale, as he did in tapping a morse code on the wall, asked the new p.o.w -- who happened to be a downed navy pilot -- if there's any news from back home. please, tell me is there any news from back home? and back came a morse code from this new p.o.w. in the hanoi hilton. quote: yeah, we got a new cno. his name is zumwalt. no more mickey mouse or chicken shit. and stockdale described it as a great moment for i'm sorry, to hear the this news. he was always a sailor's admiral. now, the book itself, "zumwalt," has 1 chapters -- 14 chapters. the book begins with the funeral scene and introduces the characters and the like, and i used the first chapter which is called "conscience of the navy" which is what bill clinton called, described bud as at his memorial service in january of
3:18 pm
2000. and it takes the reader through bud's roots going off to annapolis, the war years, how it is that he chose a career in service of country rather than what he thought he was doing even when he went to annapolis which was getting a good education but preparing himself for a life to be a doctor like his two parents had been. to a chapter which is one of my favorites called "plato and socrates" which describes the relationship between he and paul in its saw, it enabled him, i think, to navigate the political rivers that he would have to cross. and he learned some techniques of breaking down, to be more an lettic and to think critically about issues. it's a remarkable relationship between the two men. and it will, ultimately, cause zumwalt some problems with his boss, admiral tom moore.
3:19 pm
because tom moore would soon come to resent the closeness that bud zumwalt had with paul. because oftentimes with respect to vietnam policy, bud was following out about policy before admiral moore would know antibiotic. and this eventually -- about it. and this eventually led moore to come up with this plan. no one had ever heard of any admiral who went off to vietnam at that time. it was sort of like the death knell for admirals. and the navy itself was in the bath water at that time except, of course, for the aviators. i mean, the glory was in the air war. but nothing was going on with respect to the brown water navy, and bud zumwalt would change all that. and, of course, eventually he would go from there to cno, and i have four chapters on the cno years. then i have this chapter that i
3:20 pm
had the most fun writing about, the comments about the zumwalt intelligence service which i learned a lot about how bud actually had his own spies placed in henry kissinger's shop. it was a sr. systematic -- it was a very systematic organization because he along with tom moore all agreed that kissinger couldn't be trusted, that the level of secrecy and back channel was so great during that administration -- particularly on salt where the joint chiefs were being kept out of the loop because kissinger and nixon didn't trust anyone -- the only way they could combat this was to spy back on kissinger. and they did this in a brilliant way. and some of the new material i hope readers will find particularly enlightening. and then, of course, when he retired and when he was done in 1974, he was only 54 years old. this is a time where most retired admirals get to play golf and serve on boards, and buddied that until he took up a new fight that he would dedicate
3:21 pm
the rest of his life to, and that was the fight for veterans -- his sailors who had been exposed -- and their children and their families -- who had been exposed to herbicides, particularly agent orange in vietnam. who had come home like his own son, elmo, with a ticking time bomb inside of him. and suddenly 13 or 14 years later, they would find out that they were dying. and bud felt a tremendous responsibility. his son was gone, and in a pledge to his son he promised to find accountability, accountability for two things. first of all, for when he had asked the question is this herbicide -- and he did ask it, he asked it more than once -- is this herbicide harmful to human beings, he received guarantees from the chemical companies and from the government which was relying on chemical company studies that this is only harmful to vegetation. it will defoliate the jungles, it will then give you the advantage then that your sailors
3:22 pm
need. and he accepted that, and he gave the order. he issued the order to defoliate those jungles. and by this sort of tragic sort of twist of fate, his son would die from an order that his father had issued. neither man to the, certainly to date either one of them died, the three zumwalt surviving children are here, they know this is true. it's nothing profound which is neither regretted the decision that the father had made which is really worth discussing. because it had saved american lives, it had saved sailors' lives. and bud was often asked if you had to do it again, would you do it again? and he said, yes. because so many lives were saved and prolonged by making this decision. but it was, it was a horrible decision, because the consequences of that herbicide live with people and generations today as it does in vietnam. and bud became commit today that, going back to vietnam and
3:23 pm
trying to open up, making a commitment for joint studies so we could look at hot spots and take a look at how these herbicides were being, were penetrating in 1995 and 1994 into the soils. he went back to vietnam with his son jim who's one of the proponents of the mission. he was the highest ranking military figure to return to vietnam at that time. and he was a leader in convincing president clinton to open, to normalize relations with vietnam. and that's another interesting -- and, actually, president clinton asked him to get general westmoreland onboard on all this. and bud played a very central role in getting general westmoreland to recognize the importance of opening up a relationship with vietnam. and so the watch really never ended for bud. and that's why in 1998 the president of the united states, bill clinton, would give him the presidential medal of freedom for everything he had done on
3:24 pm
behalf of generations of people. he never stopped fighting, as president clinton said. never stopped fighting for those who had no power. so my book is not so much a story about his different commands, and it's not an official naval history. i leave that to the next generation of naval historians who will have is the access to those materials. this is really the portrait of a man and a character and his times, and i think there are lessons in this for leaders today and for young people today. and it's about courage of convictions, it's about a life of well lived. and there's men plenty of warts in here as well. no one is, obviously, walks on water, but the fact of the matter is that here's a man throughout his entire life, um, who challenged wrongs and tried to undo them on behalf of those who lacked the power. let me give you some broad contours of your life just to put this into context. he was born in san francisco in november of 1920.
3:25 pm
he grew up in california, and part of the research i went down there. those of you who ever have the opportunity to go to the museum can see materials that are there from the zumwalts including a statue and a mannequin that is really quite attractive. he graduated from the naval academy in 1942. he was in that wartime class where four years were condensed to three because it was really important to get these, to get these newly-commissioned officers out into the war. he received a bronze star for bravery in the battle of leyte gulf, and it does remind me that, i believe -- that's right, there are three, actually, in the room there are two zumwalts, but the zumwalt family which is an interesting family in its own right, but there are four generations of bronze star recipients, and two of them are in the room tonight. i think that's a particularly
3:26 pm
notable recognition for a family. bud served on destroyers -- yeah. [applause] so easy to introduce them because all the zumwalt kids are either james or elmo, they have no originality. the good looking one is the younger one. [laughter] you've dealt with 'em. and he served on destroyers, he was a black shoe, a nonaviator. in 1968 he was sent to vietnam. in 1970 he was cno, appointed cno. he was deep selected -- i want to talk about a few things about that -- by richard nixon. he was the choice of john chafee and ec tear laird -- secretary laird, and i've read, now, all those papers. everyone knew what they were
3:27 pm
getting when bud zumwalt was appointed cno in 1970. all the final candidates were very similar with respect to how they would deal with the soviet union, salt, military balance, high/low, budget reductions. the one thing that distinguished bud zumwalt from all other candidates was his social programs, his people programs, his personnel programs and what he would do to bring the navy into the 20th century by making it more attractive. and he had these two words: fun and zest. that's what he wanted to have so people would join the navy. because there was a reason the reenlistment rates were so low. it just wasn't fun. some would argue, well, it's not supposed to be fun. but if you're the president of the united states and you're doing away with the draft, you know, you've got to get those reenlistment rates up, and we better select a leader who's going to do this. and that's why bud zumwalt was selected. one of the documents i was able to find where these memorandums
3:28 pm
of conversations where kissinger told the president and told laird that he could find not a single admiral, full admiral above zumwalt who should be appointed cno, that it was zumwalt who had come so highly recommended who was of the obvious choice because of his commitment to these personnel policies. so everyone knew what they were getting when bud was brought in as cn, no. in 1974 his term ended, but the watch really never ended. in 1975 he would run unsuccessfully for the senate, i have quite a bit of material on that in the book. it wasn't a really great move to run against harry byrd, but he did get the -- you know, he ran as -- can he did have the opportunity in 1976 to attend the democratic national convention and speak on behalf of the defense plank for the democrats. and, indeed, he supported carter in 1976, and in 1980 he broke with carter because he really
3:29 pm
felt if carter had been reelected -- and i spoke at the carter library the other night and someone asked me about this, and i had to say it. he felt that his grandchildren would not be safe, that they might not actually survive their entire lifetime. and he joined -- he actually was one of the founders of democrats for reagan. and he became a strong supporter of reagan, although reagan would ultimately disappoint him with respect to the agent orange issue which i discuss in the book. because it was the policy of the reagan administration to do everything possible, and these new documents are available, you'll see, but it was the policy of the reagan administration to do everything possible to make sure no link was ever made between exposure to herbicides, exposure to herbicides and disease and poisoning. why? because this was a period of severe budget crisis and retrenchment. and they feared if there was ever linkage ever identified
3:30 pm
between exposure to herbicides and cancer, well, that would open it up for vietnam veterans, but it would also open it up for civilians in love canal and all other areas in the united states. and that had to happen. and some of >> he talked it about frankly, and the most frank was in some personal notes that i found given to me by a member of of
3:31 pm
the family. about what a mistake he had made and what he had learned. i think it's really quite moving, and i will close with that today. he died on january 2nd, 2000, and anything you want to know about bud zumwalt, you can go up to the navy, the naval academy where i'll be speaking next weekend. i'll be speaking to the entire midshipmen class. it's exciting to talk about this book there, next saturday morning. and
3:32 pm
. >> if you go to where the admiral is buried along with his wife of 54 years, there's only one word on his tombstone, and it's "reformer." and part of the story, of course, is about that reformer, but also part of the story in the book is about he and his wife's remarkable relationship, their remarkable marriage, and on tombstone it says "his strength." and it's a very perfect way to describe the two of them. and so i tried to capture that in the book mostly because i had access to so many of the letters. and i knew both of them. not well, but i was able to draw on my own recollections in the book. so in summary then just in terms of the introduction -- that didn't sound right, because this is not just the introduction, i'm 20 minutes into this already. remember, i've got an hour and a half, right?
3:33 pm
[laughter] zumwalt's not a naval history or command history. others are going to write that book. this is really a personal portrait of leadership and a man who made a difference in so many ways. and it's also about revolutionary change. he spent his life standing up for things, and he refused to back down. and one of my favorite terms of bud zumwalt was i will not turn back the clock. and during the cno years, that's exactly the theme that you see. and i must admit that i was drawn to his iconoclasm. it's unusual to find a man with this kind of penchant for reform and for courage to be in the service and to not be, not to seek conformity is a good way to put it. having not been in the service, maybe i'm incorrect. but as a scholar of 35 years
3:34 pm
writing about military history, i was particularly drawn to that. this is the second time i've written a biography about someone i knew, but both times it's very difficult because you know the person. and you can't help but to be involved in one motional level or another -- emotional level or another. it's just natural. i bent over backwards sometimes saying am i seeing this objectively, and i'll leave that to my readers. i'm comfortable, i'm very comfortable with that. let me tell you about some to have revelations in the book that i think are going to get a lot of attention, hopefully they'll get attention, and if they don't get attention, i'll write my own review in "the new york times." [laughter] but one revelation is that -- and this is a particularly interesting one -- you know, bud zumwalt, it turns out, and this was revealed in my book and now the documentation's available, will be in the museum. bud zumwalt's mother was jewish,
3:35 pm
and, therefore, he is jewish. by birth his mother is jewish. he never knew this. his mother had hid it his entire life, and i discuss this in the book. but if that is -- and it is true, because dna testing has conclusively determined that francis zumwalt was jewish and had hid it from her children and from everybody for reasons i discuss in the book that i don't want to really go into at the moment. but the interesting issue with respect to bud is that not only will he be considered as of today youngest cno in history, but he will now be considered and should be considered the first jewish cno replacing his dear friend admiral borta who is considered the first jewish cno. but, again, you know, in to olympics you would call this a technicality. but i do, i do have this in the book, and it's particularly interesting, and the zumwalt family -- not the family that's
3:36 pm
here today, but cousins -- helped me with this, and they were the ones who did the dna testing, and it was really helpful to me, and i give those acknowledgments in the book. i think the relationship between bill clinton and bud zumwalt, you know, most people will be very surprised at the intimacy of the relationship and how much bill clinton valued bud, but how much bud valued bill, bill clinton, and how close they were and how much they relied on each other on a whole range of issues and what type of counselor bud zumwalt was to bill clinton. many people find this quite surprising, that bud zumwalt would be so close to bill clinton. and i had dinner with madeleine albright, she was peeking at uc davis -- speaking at uc davis, and i did a booktv session with her, but it was davis tv where we just spoke to each other in front of an audience at the monodaf i have center. she told me she never knew that bud was playing this role which
3:37 pm
was, again, quite interesting. and this is highlighted in the book. and it's no wonder that bill clinton eulogized, eulogized bud in 2000. both bud -- both bill and hillary clinton were very close to the zumwalt family. this bond was forged during renaissance weekends where they would spend time together, but where bud to this day is considered one of the great grandfathers with great respect. people always wallet to talk about bud zumwalt -- want to talk about bud zumwalt, and i think that's so revealing as well. i think the chapter on zumwalt's intelligence service in the book brings up a whole new issue. i've received lots of letters from scholars who are working on this area right now, and they were unaware as to the extent of the zumwalt intelligence service which was better and more informed than so many others. and i hope that my readers will appreciate that.
3:38 pm
i was privy to all the letters that bud wrote when he was at the naval academy as a bleak right through the -- might be right through the time he graduated. and, again, it was so interesting, and i tried in that chapter to let the reader understand that he had all these trepidations and fears about not being able to cut it, did he have what it took to become a naval officer? he wanted to go home after the first day he was there. he called his father, he said i want to come home. it broke his father's heart. but his father said, do what you want to do, bud, it's okay. but then bud couldn't do that, and he took his place and was sworn in, and was sworn in. but, you know, that his mother would die just a month or two into his first year as a plebe, and when he left california, she was dying of a cancer. and, again, this is discussed in the book. but he had to deal with that. and then he had to deal with the fact that, you know, sometimes his grades were going down
3:39 pm
because he actually was quite a social animal. and he had lots of girlfriends, and he came up with all these ways to sneak out of the academy. i can't wait to tell the midshipmen this next week. [laughter] some of them were ingenious about how he would meet a girlfriend, and they would come up with this great plan. he would get a youngster, a second-year to make -- to escort them off the grounds because plebes weren't allowed off the grounds, and then i think he bribed the guy, and then they would rendezvous with his girlfriend, and he would be able to picnic with her and the like, and he would write his father about this and how proud he was and the like. [laughter] you also learn about, you know, how he distinguishes himself academically, but particularly rhetorically. you never wanted to get into an argument with him because you'd lose almost all the time. because his persuasive power, his rhetorical power was extraordinary. and he developed this not only -- well, he was a value dick attorney in high school,
3:40 pm
and he was -- valedictorian in high school, but it was in the naval academy where he really distinguished himself and won two medals for debate and speech. and this would carry him through throughout his entire life. i told the story in the book about the ddg 1000. general dynamics is building this magnificent ship. i tell the story about how just a few years ago at this very crucial meeting the zumwalt enemies managed to manifest themself each one more time -- even one more time, and it was put on the table let's not name it zumwalt. and admiral charlie hamilton took off his id who admired everything that zumwalt had done for the navy, particularly in the area of race. he took off his id, and he said if you do this, you can find somebody else. and the ddg 1000 zumwalt class. but i tell that story in the
3:41 pm
book. and another story in the book is the love story between he and his wife. again, it's a remarkable marriage, relationship. like all marriages and relationships, trial and tribulations, but his wife's story is so moving because for 14 years of their marriage bud was at sea, he was away. and the challenges she faced raising four children, one very early who had polio and other medical problems, a hole in his heart, raising the children, moving the children from one place to another. she really did a remarkable, a remarkable job. and not only that, but in bud's various capacities and service positions she served as house mother to other wives and was there when bud in vietnam was a regular at the hospital comforting those wounded sailors. and, indeed, someone should just write a book about her, because it's just, again, her whole life's story, and i try to capture some of this -- how they met -- and it was a courtship that lasted only two weeks. she didn't speak english, so it
3:42 pm
was really quite remarkable, but it lasted. these two people who fate seemed to have joined together. in the book i talk about this very significant meeting, the influence of mentors. well, bud had two significant mentors in life. probably others, but two were paul nitze, but before that general george marshall. it was marshall who convinced bud to stay in the navy and to serve his country in a very difficult time during the korean war -- right before the korean war. when he really, he'd already been accepted to medical school at the university of california, and he wanted to knoll the footstep -- follow in the footsteps of his parents. and he had these two choices to make. two admirable occupations, but he decided to serve his country s. and some of the writing that he did on this is really -- notes that he would make to himself, guided me on this. and then, of course, the influence of paul nitze. the brown water navy which will be b the subject of my talk at
3:43 pm
the naval academy next week, if bud zumwalt was never selected as cno, he will be remembered for his planning and conduct and management of naval forces in an insurgency environment. what he did in vietnam was extraordinary with respect to the brown water navy, sea lords taking the offensive to the enemy and all of a sudden making the brown water navy relevant in the war. and for the first time, sailors were getting killed. and do you know what happened? that got the respect of mac v. and when bud zumwalt arrived, general creighton abrams who had already cut -- and -- [inaudible] the guy who authored probably the best book on creighton abrams, and i have to be careful because i don't want to make a mistake. the remarkable relationship that that abe had with bud zumwalt, it didn't start off like that because they didn't know each other. but as soon as bud showed he was
3:44 pm
willing to put chips on the table and that sailors were prepared to die taking the fight to the enemy, he got the respect of creighton abrams right away. he had a place at the table. and the navy didn't have a place at the weekly meetings before that, because admiral zeff had worn out his welcome with creighton abrams, and, indeed, in their first meeting abrams told bud i'll give you a short period of time, but unless you put chips on the table, you won't be here. and bud put chips on the table. and i tell the story about how he did that, and what happened after that was this remarkable relationship the two men formed. other interesting things about the book i think i'll just mention to you, i do discuss the senate, his race for senate in 1976. first he had to decide which party to join because he had no party. he had to decide where he wanted to run. he was from california, but he lived in virginia, he had to decide, you know, what year, what year to enter, what state
3:45 pm
and what party. and he chose the democratic party, and he gave two reasons. and these two reasons have never been given publicly, but they are in the private papers, the personal papers at texas tech university. one was that most retired military were republican, and he wanted to be heard, and he didn't think he would be heard if he joined the republican party. but most of all, nixon and kissinger were in the republican party. [laughter] and he felt that he needed to combat them, and he felt that this was the most corrupt administration that he had ever seen. he wanted no part of it. and, indeed, henry kissinger became the focal point of the 1976 -- he ran against henry kissinger, but harry byrd had the money and the name recognition, he had every highway and school named after him. he took a shellacking in that election. but it was a learning experience for him. another remarkable story i think i tell is, and this pops up throughout the book, is the
3:46 pm
relationship that bud zumwalt had with tran van chan, remarkable friendship and the love he had for the vietnamese. and how he never stopped supporting the vietnamese ever. and in 1975, april 30, 1975, when the country of south vietnam ceased to exist and as many vietnamese fled by boat or -- by boat or any way they could, and they needed to get a sponsor here in the united states, sometimes the only name they knew was bud zumwalt. and the zumwalt home and the home of his children were filled with vietnamese families. one is here tonight, he knows the story of how 11 of them came and lived in the basement. and the zumwalts helped them understand how to survive here, how to change money, taught them english, helped them get started. and today they're all success. and i use this quote from them that the zumwalts taught them how to be proud americans. and i think it's a real tribute
3:47 pm
to them. and there are stories that bill clinton told at the 2000 memorial service where some vietnamese family arrived, and the only name they knew was zumwalt, and they called, and zumwalt found them a home and took them in. it's a remarkable, remarkable story. and other aspects of the book that i hope you'll enjoy are his relationships with john warner which were not very good, john warner when he was secretary of the navy, but never felt that he really got the support from warner. and they really had a rough and difficult time until many years later when they joined forces to defeat oliver north, which bud took the lead on and needed warner's support. and they really bridged the gap, bridged their friendship, and then bud became a supporter of warner's reelection. so it's really quite extraordinary. the friend of, the friend of your -- how does it go, the friend of your friend's my enemy? i didn't do that right. [laughter] on that, john chafee, the remarkable relations he had with
3:48 pm
john chafee, with mel laird and with creighton abrams. i think i'm, i've got about five more minutes, and then i'll take questions. what i want to do is just talk to you about one particular reform in particular. and it's not race, actually, it's, it has to do with women in the navy which i think you might find particularly interesting. no cno did more for race relations than bud zumwalt, and i have two full chapters on that in the book. but what is often not recognized about bud is that there was much more opposition within the navy to bud zumwalt's programs for equal opportunity for women. equal opportunity for women received greater opposition than his programs on race. congress had passed a law forbidding women to serve on fighting ships or in fighting planes. so by law women did not serve on
3:49 pm
an equal basis with men. women were also not permitted to attend service academies. at this time it was legal only to assign women to hospital or transport ships. bud understood that the culture believed women should avoid aggressive activities, but once again he took another view, and here's his view. i want to quote it. i have no problem supporting women in combat for two reasons. one, i remember well my grandmother's stories about fighting off the indians along with her husband as they crossed the plains and, two, the most vicious and cunning enemy i ever had to fight was a viet cong woman. close the quote. so in 1971 bud formed one of these wave retention groups. retention groups were these groups that he created to study problems in the navy; race relations, women in the navy, etc. and these, this wave retention group revealed general dissatisfaction with the reality
3:50 pm
that women were still being assigned primarily as receptionists and coffee runners, right, and receiving assignments based on their competence and ability. and in december 1971 he sent out a let e another z gram, to all naval personnel and all flag officers in which he noted, and i quote: there is a demoralizing and disheartening activity to young waves who graduate at the top of her chat and is then -- class and is then assigned to such stimulating duties as running the ditto machine and keeping the office mess going. close that quote. he then urged his flag officers to take the following actions. one of the attitudes at work might be, quote, the professional jealousy of the male supervisor who cannot admit that the woman can do the job as professionally as her male part or the complete bewilderment of an officer who has never had a woman working for him before and
3:51 pm
doesn't know quite what to do with her n. the former the misuse is deliberate, in the latter, faultless, but it adds up to a real waste of talent. bud wiz anticipationing -- was anticipating the passage of the equal rights amendment, so he was intent on being ahead of the curve. so in z gram 116, equal rights and opportunities for women in the navy -- which was promulgated on august 7, 1972 -- it was pure zumwalt. the message stated that all men and women should be permitted to serve their country in any way they choose. this meant utilizing navy women in responsible positions whether ashore or at sea. this would strengthen the navy in meeting its worldwide commitments and defense of our shores. i'm quoting exactly from the z gram. what this moment then was that women were to have open and equal access to candidate programs and service schools and were to be assigned to sea duty based on their qualifications.
3:52 pm
so what z gram 116 did -- and there were 115 before it -- so many of them had equal, equal type, equal kinds of changes. z gram 116 sought to achieve gender equality by removing almost all restrictions on opportunities and ratings. the ultimate goal being that women would serve on ships as sea as officers, crew and as combat pilots what's significant about this, historically, it's obviously a change that can't be undone, but when bud passed away the letters that came in from women who had their pilot wigs were the most -- wings were the most touching letters that i had the opportunity to read. i want to read one now. a retired naval aviator found a cartoon. sitting at the bar were two admirals crying in their beer above the caption, if god had wanted women at the naval academy, he would have made them
3:53 pm
men. [laughter] like this is what mariner wrote. like many wonderful human institutions, the navy would never have altered course towards racial equality, nor staff the fleet with the best qualified male and female citizen sailors under its own momentum. admiral zumwalt's methods, however unpopular, were the only way to cast off old lines and allow the navy to steam into the future. in my mind's eye, i see the always-dignified admiral elbowing up to a heavenly old guard bar taking his seat on one of history's truly great americans and truly great naval leaders. and that is from retired captain rosemary mariner. bud was especially proud of the day that arlene durc was selected as the first female admiral when a photo of bud kissing the new admiral on the cheek appeared on the front pages of the newspapers, many people wrote in this letter, and here's one that was written by a
3:54 pm
mrs. john malone. first it's boos and rock music in the -- booze and rock music in the barracks to corrupt the boys, now it's a kiss for the lip. are you sure you don't represent the french navy? no small wonder we can't win the war with the likes of you in charge. and bud's response was so great. he said you must understand, what does not d -- one does not become cno without having kissed a lot of admirals. [laughter] and on that. and these changes did not go unnoticed. the tenth anniversary of ms. magazine b, gloria stein m's ms. magazine, had an article. the whole edition was dedicated to ms. heroes, men who have taken chances and made a difference. it saluted the men who were most engaged in fundamental humanize izing change, symbols and real people. and not surprisingly bud zumwalt was one of those men honored.
3:55 pm
so these are the changes that can't be undone in race, in gender equality, in the fact that now african-americans have the chance to become admirals without any of the impediments that had created a situation of institutionalized racism. now, i'm going to close with the following. you know, in a life touched by tragedy, bud zumwalt became a champion of veterans aflecked with elements to service in vietnam. the story of elmo that i tell in the book is a personal one. it's been told before in certain ways, but i had access to some new information. thirteen years after returning home from vietnam, elmo learned of the ticking time bomb inside of him. by this time elmo and kathy, his wife, had two children; maya, age 9, and russell, age 7. but in january 1973, he began -- elmo began feeling ill. and i detail the fight, the struggle to try to find a cure for elmo's life. but it was in december of 1992
3:56 pm
when bud zumwalt went to a renaissance weekend, and this is what i'll close on, where his handwritten note that no one has ever seen except outside of the family -- and i use it in the book. in his handwritten notes that were presented at renaissance, bud reflected on elmo's life, his death, and bud's own struggle for the truth. and to find out what had happened and where the cover-up occurred. i want to read to you what he shared with his second family. because the zumwalt family knows that bud zumwalt considered the renaissance family his second family in so many ways. and he loved, he loved going there. it was a chance to reflect b and be intellectually challenged and to be amongst friends. and this is what bud zumwalt said. under the title, whoops, mistakes and their consequences. as many of you know, i was the commander of u.s. naval forces in vietnam who decided in 1968 to use agent orange to defoliate vegetation of the vietnam delta.
3:57 pm
at the time it seemed to be an intelligent decision. the u.s. army had been using agent orange for three years. they believed their experiences had confirmed what the military had been assured by the chemical companies, that the only known human ill effects was the development of -- [inaudible] on the skin of some exposed individuals. as is well known, 20 years later in august 1988, my wife and i lost our first-born son, elmo iii, from both hodgkins disease and nonhodge consistent lymphoma. i have been deeply saddened by the additional insights i have gained. chemical companies have known for many years that these substances were harmful. they had exchanged data amongst themselves about such harmful effects and have delayed in some cases many years in making reports to government concerning these harmful effects. bud zumwalt -- close the quote. bud zumwalt had asked all the right questions, but he received
3:58 pm
dishonest answers. and he was intent on never letting that happen again. so at the time of the persian gulf war, bud's thoughts were on the fact that it took the government 15 years to deal with agent orange. adding to this was he and his wife's anxiety and the fact that their surviving son jim, who's here in the front row, was deployed in the gulf. and as soon as president bush began the deployments, bud called secretary of defense cap weinberger to urge that daily positions be taken of all tactical units, be recorded so that future studies concerning health effects could take place. should there be chemicals. bud worked tirelessly in this effort. he never stopped fighting for those unprotected. and i think it's a good illustration of the man and his life. so with that, i'll stop.
3:59 pm
we have time or for questions, i'll take them. i've just tried to introduce you to the story. many of you know the story of this remarkable man h but i'd be honored to take questions. and if you just, there's a microphone over here, we'll start right now. thank you. [applause] ..
4:00 pm
>> of course, bud was committed to a high-low mix, and committed to a nuclear navy, and was not interested in anything else other than a nuclear navy so there was a conflict between the two, and many times, admiral moore was on on sides with that. i did not have access to the materials that would allow me to answer your question because of the review with most documents unavailable to researchers. i had no access to tell that particular story. i was able to tell the story from the personal papers available at texas tech university. this is an important point because at the navy history center, the heritage command, the place where his official papers are, but the personal
4:01 pm
papers, those that pertain to 1975 and after including a whole rich of data material early in the year, those are at texas tech, vietnam archives, open with complete access, but because of the restrictive policy, it's difficult to get access to the types of material needed to answer this particular question. as a beneficiary as one extraordinary source of data that scholars will start minding. there was a has been developed early in the year speaking every day into a tape recorder recording the day's events and things going on. this was noted by several people like harry and others that they saw, you know, bud was just always taping conversations and went back in the evening, often, and made a record, a whole diary of the events going on, but when he was writing his memoirs on
4:02 pm
watch, which were published in 1975 and they were used primarily as a vehicle to introduce to the american public in the campaign and elsewhere what that did was he sat down and spoke for days and days and days into a tape recorder about everything that happened in the administration. he did personality sevens of everybody from hague to nixon, and then as a part of the memoir, it was transcribed. all of this was transcribed. we're talking about thousands of pages of transcripts of bud talking to a tape recorder about his views of what was going on ward to the character sketches, the battle with respect to high low and the nuclear navy. it's in the tape transcripts,
4:03 pm
and so here i am discovering these things, and, of course, in the memoirs, he was only able to use a signal fraction of the tapes, and i asked steve, head of the library, and it may have been jim at the time, is this public domain? yes. can i use it? yes. as a result, bud was speaking to me every day literally. it was a lucky find. now future generations can use it and some of the personality sketches, made great use of it, intelligence service, all of that is in there, and, particularly, some of the notes on who used the sources and how he infiltrated in, that's all from the tapes. that was the main source of data, the personal papers were a main source of data. the family papers a source of data, and i used the
4:04 pm
declassified and unclassified documents that are in the history center. getting access i need, i leave that to the next generation. any other questions? i think there was one more. okay. that's a good sign. maybe i answered them all or maybe you want to go back to the bar. on that, thank you, all, it's been a real honor to be here, enjoy the book. every author -- i were the day six years ago when i started this project. every author dreams of a day like today where you're done, for before an audience, and you're talking to them about the book. it's a humbling experience, it is. if you ever meet an author who says otherwise, it's not true. it's very difficult, times to condense six years of work, 500 pages into 35 minutes with many
4:05 pm
strangers, but it's such an honor to be here, particularly, to be in this room with so many distinguished americans, people who have served the country for a lifetime, and the debt to bill thompson, and those who i have not acknowledged, i thank you just from the bottom of my heart, what an honor it is to be here, and how much i appreciate your service to the country and how important i think this navy memorial is, and if you have not had a chance, the young people, you may -- you can go out at night and see it or go in the morning, go outside and just read, you know, read, and you'll get a real sense of heroism in the navy and the contributions to the country. thank you, thank you very much. i appreciate it. [applause]
4:06 pm
>> you think of washington in 1835, 25 years before the civil war, what would you think? well, savely was well entrenched. the black methamphetamine were miserable, the whites cruel and indifference. that's actually not true at all. in washington -- washington had 30 thousands people then as a city. 12,000 were black. the majority of the people in 1830 were free, were not slaves out of the 12,000 people, slightly more than half were free. >> what led to washington, d.c.'s first race riots in 1835? what part did francis scott key play?
4:07 pm
jefferson recounts this almost forgotten chapter in history in "snowstorm in august" on c-span2's >> we don't know whether franklin roosevelt heard about forest greenberg's unprecedented call for health care as a right because even though he had endorsed the conference, he chose that time to go on vacation. frksz dr was actually on a cruise. it was probably a well-deserved vacation. three years earlier, he refused to include medical coverage because he didn't want to antagonize the american medical profession. he did send a message of support to the health department corchtion, but not long afterwards, the outbreak of world war ii forced the president's attention elsewhere.
4:08 pm
fives year later, january 11, 1944 in the state of the union address, roosevelt spoke to the american people about the war, and especially about the peace the allies planned to establish after the defeat of fascism saying the one objective for the future is summed up in one word, "security," meaning not just physical security providing safety by attacks from aggressor, but means also economic security and social security. the individual political rights were necessary, but not sufficient to guarantee true freedom and security. fdr announced an economic bill of rights sometimes called the second bill of rights that included the right to a job and a living wage, the right to housing, education, and security
4:09 pm
in old age, and a right to adequate medical care with the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. even though fdr missed hearing forest's speech, there's echoes in the second bill of rights. the idea of economic and social rights as a central supplement in political rights started as far back in the french revolution, but it was more recent, and discussion of this right became prominent in the 19 # 30s and 40s, first of all because medical care itself was becoming more effective. it was starting to matter much more in everyone's lives. before the public knew of medical miracles like surgeries, treatments that could save lives and extend life, and to with
4:10 pm
hold these miracles came to seem unjust. medical care cost more than before. the average family could not afford to pay for a hospital stay or major illness or the birth of a child just out of their wages. for medical care was not just a mat ere of life and health, but it was also becoming something that could cause serious financial hardship. that is why medical care was a matter of economic security as well as health security. in the u.s., the demands for medical care as a social right, moves in the political movement remitted people like florence greenberg. they next came to national prominence and fdr's proposed second bill of rights, and finally, they were adopted in the united nations universal
4:11 pm
care of human rights after world war ii thanks in part to roosevelt who helped draft the u.n.'s declaration after her husband's death. today, more than 70 countries recognize a right to health or health care in their institutions. virtually every industrialized nation have taken steps to implement the righting establishes universal health care coverage for the citizens with one major exception. >> watch this and other programs online at >> the newest book "who stole the american dream" joining us on booktv. mr. smith, who stole the american dream? >> well, you got to get into the story of the narrative in the last 30-40 years happening in wedge economics, inside the economic system, middle class cut out of its share of american growth and prosperity that's basically american corporate
4:12 pm
leaders doing that, and then there's a big power shift in washington, and it's led by a guy named louis powell before going on the court, a secret memo to the business league of american saying you're taken to the cleaners by the consumer movement, the labor movement, and you got to get into washington and get in the game. they got in the game, and ever since then, there's a policy tilt since the late 1970s, one that hurt the middle class and moved money uphill against gravity, up to the wealthy from the middle class. it's political and economics, not just a bunch of guys sitting around in a room saying let's screw the middle class. it happened historically, but if we don't understand how and why, we're not getting in a good fix. situation now. >> what's an example of how the middle class was hurt? >> well, take the 401(k) program. the 401(k) program was in place of lifetime pensions
4:13 pm
shifting hundreds of billions of dollars from the accounting of corporations on to the shoulders of the middle class. take the housing crisis, $6 trillion of accumulated wealth in the mortgages and the equity in american homes moved during the housing boom, not the bust, the boom. $6 trillion moved from middle class homeowners to wall street banks. those are two big enormous changes in wealth that happened during this period. >> when do you start forming the idea to write the book? your previous book was "the power game"; correct? >> to be honest, i did documentaries for pbs on is walmart good for america? can you afford to retire? the wall street fix getting me into wall street and economics, and i was interested in the housing crisis, the sub prime. the victims of sub prime were prime borrowers, not sub prime borrowers. getting into that, i saw the same patterns that i saw in offshoring, the burden shift on retirement, and i said, wait a
4:14 pm
minute, there's a story here about the american middle class. what happened to them. actually, it didn't start with the title, "who stole the american dream," but "the dream at risk" because everybody knew there was a problem. it was only as i got into it i discovered more and more things that i realized it was not market forces or technology. this was not globalization. what was happening is american politics and american economics were working against the middle class. people did this. we decided that if you look at other countries like germany, their middle class is in better shape doing better trading against the world. their companies are making money, and things heard that were not impossible, not possible in america, are actually happening in germany, and their wages went up five times faster than ours. there's something wrong inside the american political and economic system 689 that's what the book is about. >> who stole the american dream, thank you for being on


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on